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Swine Producers Encouraged to Analyse Feed Grain

by 5m Editor
11 September 2009, at 8:44am

CANADA - With the increasing prevalence of a new more aggressive and toxic form of Fusarium graminearum, swine producers are encouraged to make sure they know what is in the grain they feed their hogs, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Fusarium gram produces the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol or DON.

Since 1998 the prevalence of the 3-A DON chemotype, which produces higher levels of the mycotoxin, has increased from about five per cent of fusarium-infected wheat crops in western Canada to 40 to 50 per cent.

Dr. Martin Nyachoti, an animal science professor with the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, notes pigs are very sensitive to DON and will refuse to consume DON-contaminated grain.

Dr. Martin Nyachoti-University of Manitoba

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recommends no more than one PPM in the diets of swine but we hear a lot of anecdotal comments that pigs are able to tolerate higher levels.

In fact we completed a study here a few years ago with Dr. House and indicated that growing pigs, particularly barrows were able to tolerate fairly high levels than the one PPM that is recommended by CFIA.

So there is a lot of variation from what you hear people talking about.

I think what's happening is that we don't know what else is present in the feed.

DON might be present as one of the mycotoxins but there's also a likelihood that there will be the presence of other mycotoxins that will act synergistically with DON to exert the effects that we see between one set of pigs from the other.


Dr. Nyachoti notes genetics may also play a role but he is not aware of any studies to confirm that.

He suggests having suspect grains analysed to get an idea of what you're dealing with.